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ANNALEE LASS has proved a totally different proposition on her last two starts, first making a successful handicap debut at Newcastle and then filling the runner-up spot from a 2 lb higher mark over this course and distance. She was beaten just a length on the last occasion, running at least as well in defeat as when winning the time before. She seems to be going the right way and there is no reason why she shouldn’t give another good account with Mark Winn taking 5 lb off her back.
ALL IN THE HIPS showed improved form to regain the winning thread at this course last time, edging ahead close home to get the verdict by a head. Her strength at the finish suggests the step up to seven furlongs today won’t be an issue and it’s still early days with the David Evans yard having had just four starts since joining from Jack Davison. She may yet have more to offer and a 3 lb rise in the weights is unlikely to be enough to stop her in her follow-up bid.
EXQUISITELY was knocking on the door in a couple of runs on the all-weather towards the end of last year. She was beaten just a nose at Newcastle in October and then went close again when third over this course and distance the following month, passing the post three quarters of a length behind the winner. That form comfortably sets the standard here on Timeform’s weight-adjusted ratings and it looks an excellent opportunity for her to open her account after four months off.
JOYFUL ACT is bred in the purple (by Frankel and out of the 1000 Guineas/Irish Oaks winner Blue Bunting) and couldn’t be in better hands with Charlie Appleby, who is well capable of readying a newcomer and has an impressive 34% strike rate at Wolverhampton in recent years. Tranquil Rose is another interesting newcomer from the same stable, but Joyful Act gets the vote to come out on top in a maiden where those with previous experience set just a fair standard.
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ROYAL PARADE shaped encouragingly after five months off when third on her latest outing at Newcastle, sticking to her task well to be beaten just half a length. That was also her first start for Mick Appleby (formerly trained by John & Thady Gosden) and she appeals as exactly the type that her new yard should be able to win plenty of races with. Indeed, this could be just the first of many having gone up only 1 lb for her run last time.
MY BOY JACK finally got off the mark over this course and distance in February, just holding on to get the verdict by a head. He then ran to a similar level from a 2 lb higher mark when suffering a narrow defeat at Southwell last time, doing well to go so close having made his challenge well away from the winner. He’s clearly been sharpened up by a recent change of headgear (blinkers replaced a visor) and should go well again up another 2 lb.
COME ON JOHN isn’t the easiest to win with, but he’s done enough recently to show that he’s on a competitive mark, again finishing on the heels of the leaders (beaten a length and three-quarters) when fourth at this course last time. He is 1 lb lower in the weights today and could be worth a chance to finally double his career tally, with the forecast strong gallop likely to play into his hands given his style of racing (usually held up).
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